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Discussion Starter #1
Hi,
Greetings from Auckland, New Zealand!
I am considering converting a 1974 Karmann Ghia to electric drive. Since I have never worked on electric systems, I am very hesitant about sourcing used forklift motors, even if I knew where in Auckland I could lay my hands on one.
I have come across this one on Alibaba in China, which has the controller built in:
https://www.alibaba.com/product-detail/Rated-60KW-peak-power-120KW-350VDC_62522213556.html?spm=a2700.12243863.0.0.49f23e5fYM2L1L
What are your thoughts on the specifications and the suitability for my intended use?
It would be great to chat with someone knowledgeable (and patient!:)) in Auckland.
Thanks.
 

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It looks like a good motor - comparable to motors used in current production EVs and more than enough for the VW. Whether it is actually any good is as much of a mystery as the manufacturer. Whether it is easy to use will depend on the details of the controller (how it is configured and managed... likely entirely over the CAN link), which is also a mystery.

Like any motor not already commonly used in conversions, extensive custom design and fabrication will be required to mount the motor to the VW transaxle, and the connect the motor's output shaft to the transmission's input shaft (assuming that you retain the stock VW transaxle, rather than buying the mating transaxle from the motor supplier).

Just one note: the controller is included in the specifications and so hopefully (but not clearly) included with the purchase of the motor; however, from the illustrations it is not integrated with the motor housing - it will be a separately mounted box.
 

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Oof, that's a pretty penny! I feel like you could get a complete EV for not much more...Are there any cheap used/wrecked EVs in New Zealand? You can get a whole Leaf for that money in California...

The tricky bit is controlling, though. The Leaf and Tesla motors have good support. I'm not sure of much else.

Ghia sounds like a lovely idea, though.
 

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Very soon Duncan, who lives in New Zealand, will show up and give you suggestions on where to get forklift motors in your area.

After years of pushing them to 30x their ratings in drag races, he finally melted one last year and then went and got 2 or 3 more for $200.

I would not go spending $6000 on random unsupported Chinese motors. If you're worried about getting a bad motor and wasting money... you're only wasting $200 and you'd find out right away and the place would probably even take it back and give you another one. Very small risk.

Alternatively, get a Prius transaxle for like $200 and use that. You can get a transaxle, inverter, one of Damien or Johannes' controllers (EVBMW or OpenInverter) all in for well under $1000.
 

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Very soon Duncan, who lives in New Zealand, will show up and give you suggestions on where to get forklift motors in your area.

After years of pushing them to 30x their ratings in drag races, he finally melted one last year and then went and got 2 or 3 more for $200.

I would not go spending $6000 on random unsupported Chinese motors. If you're worried about getting a bad motor and wasting money... you're only wasting $200 and you'd find out right away and the place would probably even take it back and give you another one. Very small risk.

Alternatively, get a Prius transaxle for like $200 and use that. You can get a transaxle, inverter, one of Damien or Johannes' controllers (EVBMW or OpenInverter) all in for well under $1000.
I'm not that sure I can help
I got my motor(s) from a guy in Dunedin - bit far from Auckland

I would suggest that if the OP knows somebody in Dunedin he could pay them to ship him a motor

I have my 11 inch motor (in the car) - my spare

And I picked up a 9 inch motor for a project I was thinking about - if he is desperate I could part with the 9 inch

If Kiwielectric sends me a PM with his number we could talk about the subject
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I'm not that sure I can help
I got my motor(s) from a guy in Dunedin - bit far from Auckland

I would suggest that if the OP knows somebody in Dunedin he could pay them to ship him a motor

I have my 11 inch motor (in the car) - my spare

And I picked up a 9 inch motor for a project I was thinking about - if he is desperate I could part with the 9 inch

If Kiwielectric sends me a PM with his number we could talk about the subject
Thanks Duncan. have PM'd you.
 

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I spoke at length with Duncan when he called me yesterday. He is a fount of knowledge, an enthusiast and a gentleman. And, no, he has not induced me in any way to say that.....
The upshot of the discussion was that an AC motor was probably the way to go for my Karmann Ghia conversion.
Duncan, the info on the motor and controller I referred to is attached. Cost is US$4000.
On the other hand, I have a contact who can source panel-damaged Nissan Leafs from the auctions in Japan, landed in Auckland approx US$5000. Would it be practical to use the drivetrain and the batteries from the Leaf for my conversion?
Cheers,
Denzil
 

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They have pictures of 2 different motors in that spec sheet, one is liquid cooled and the other looks like air cooled, so which one do you get?
 

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Duncan, the info on the motor and controller I referred to is attached.
Is that motor in the spec sheet supposed to be the same motor as in the Alibaba ad? It's clearly not, and the one in the spec sheet is a very heavy low-speed design.
 

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I have a contact who can source panel-damaged Nissan Leafs from the auctions in Japan, landed in Auckland approx US$5000. Would it be practical to use the drivetrain and the batteries from the Leaf for my conversion?
Denzil
Depending on shipping, I would say that's the way to go. You'll get:

1) Motor and inverter with decent aftermarket support.
2) Battery pack (later batteries last longer than early batteries).
3) A mile of multi-colored wires in various sizes, including high- and low-current connectors.
4) Two contactors and a precharge relay/resistor.
5) Service disconnect.
6) Some HV wiring.
7) Easily-modified busbars and BMS wiring.
8) Throttle pedal.
9) 12v relays, fuses, switches, fuseboxes, etc...
10) Numerous metric fasteners.
11) Axle stubs.

If you can hack the CAN bus (or complete/repurpose others' work), you might also get:

1) Great charger.
2) Powerful DC-DC converter.
3) BMS.
4) HVAC.
5) Coolant pump.

It's possible to use the whole Leaf and not have to buy anything else (besides axles/adapters), but it's all-or-nothing—the motor won't spin if you forget something.
 

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Is that motor in the spec sheet supposed to be the same motor as in the Alibaba ad? It's clearly not, and the one in the spec sheet is a very heavy low-speed design.
I have found the ads on Alibaba frequently use the one photo and state a variety of sizes available in the description - e.g. XYZ motor, 15W, 20W,60W etc. with a huge price range $600 - $12000!
My intended use is as a weekend driver, with short acceleration bursts at stop lights;) and cruising speeds of 100kph.
Would you say that the low rated RPM makes it unsuitable for that purpose?
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Depending on shipping, I would say that's the way to go. You'll get:

1) Motor and inverter with decent aftermarket support.
2) Battery pack (later batteries last longer than early batteries).
3) A mile of multi-colored wires in various sizes, including high- and low-current connectors.
4) Two contactors and a precharge relay/resistor.
5) Service disconnect.
6) Some HV wiring.
7) Easily-modified busbars and BMS wiring.
8) Throttle pedal.
9) 12v relays, fuses, switches, fuseboxes, etc...
10) Numerous metric fasteners.
11) Axle stubs.

If you can hack the CAN bus (or complete/repurpose others' work), you might also get:

1) Great charger.
2) Powerful DC-DC converter.
3) BMS.
4) HVAC.
5) Coolant pump.

It's possible to use the whole Leaf and not have to buy anything else (besides axles/adapters), but it's all-or-nothing—the motor won't spin if you forget something.
Yes, I omitted to take into account the freight to New Zealand and the taxes once it arrives for the motor/controller from China. Makes the Leaf option seem more economically viable.
Now I just have to find someone in Auckland with the knowhow to assist!
 

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Oof, that's a pretty penny! I feel like you could get a complete EV for not much more...Are there any cheap used/wrecked EVs in New Zealand? You can get a whole Leaf for that money in California...

The tricky bit is controlling, though. The Leaf and Tesla motors have good support. I'm not sure of much else.

Ghia sounds like a lovely idea, though.
that price is for 10 units not one. On the same page it showed similar motors for around $1000
 

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that price is for 10 units not one. On the same page it showed similar motors for around $1000
The price in the Alibaba listing is shown as "US$4,200.00 - US$6,700.00 / Set", which means US$4,200.00 to US$6,700.00 for a single set of motor and controller; the range is given because it depends on the number ordered, and there is a two-set minimum order (so at least US$8,400 for two motors with controllers, but more likely US$13,400). I don't see any indication of how many a buyer would need to order to get them for only US$4,200 each. The table showing quantities or less or more than 10 sets is about delivery time.

The end result is that to buy one of these for a project is the sample price of US$6,500, plus shipping and taxes.

The other motors shown on the same Alibaba page are unrelated to this motor - they're just other Alibaba listed items which have some of the same keywords (basically, other AC motors). The first suggested "similar" motor that I see is $2,500 for a single quantity (which you can only buy as a sample) and $1,000 each in quantities of ten or more... for a 40 kW motor without a controller. Yes, there are cheaper motors offered, but the one linked in the original post is US$6,500.
 

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The price in the Alibaba listing is shown as "US$4,200.00 - US$6,700.00 / Set", which means US$4,200.00 to US$6,700.00 for a single set of motor and controller; the range is given because it depends on the number ordered, and there is a two-set minimum order (so at least US$8,400 for two motors with controllers, but more likely US$13,400). I don't see any indication of how many a buyer would need to order to get them for only US$4,200 each. The table showing quantities or less or more than 10 sets is about delivery time.

The end result is that to buy one of these for a project is the sample price of US$6,500, plus shipping and taxes.

The other motors shown on the same Alibaba page are unrelated to this motor - they're just other Alibaba listed items which have some of the same keywords (basically, other AC motors). The first suggested "similar" motor that I see is $2,500 for a single quantity (which you can only buy as a sample) and $1,000 each in quantities of ten or more... for a 40 kW motor without a controller. Yes, there are cheaper motors offered, but the one linked in the original post is US$6,500.
never had much time for alibaba, deliberately confusing, anyway that's a lot of money for an unknown motor with no track record.
 
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